Monday, January 27, 2014


Alright family! Another week has gone by! That is pretty crazy! I can't believe it. In three days, I will have been on my mission for three months! 

So some pretty awesome things have happened this week! Our paroisse (ward) had a baptism this week! It was the other equips baptism but it was so awesome to see! A lot of the ward came and two of our amis came as well! The spirit was very strong. As we were waiting for Yoyo to come back in after she was baptised we had members bear their testimonies. 


After Yoyo came in, I had a talk to give on the Holy Ghost. Honestly, I was a nervous wreck before hand. Which is totally unlike me when it comes to public speaking. Anyway, there were probably about 30 people in the congregation. But my talk went well! To start, I asked the congregation to pray so that the Holy Ghost could help them understand the things I was going to say. It was a little hard for me though because I am so used to just typing up some bullet points and going off of that but I can't in french...YET! But, people seemed to understand.

Solangie - he talked about her last e-mail 

The language is really starting to take off. If someone is speaking in my direction I understand probably about 75-80 percent of what is said. Africans are the hardest for me to understand, which figures because that is who we teach the most. 

People that aren't French (Africans, Spaniards, Romanian, etc) think that I am French when I speak to them and with the French they usually think I am a really slow French person and then they ask where I am from. 

Apparently this transfer is when the language begins to really start to click for most missionaries (as far as comphrension and such). Let's hope so!

This week was Blues' Conference! Blue's conference is where they take all the missionaries that have been out for one transfer and bring them back into Lyon for training. It was so much fun because you get to see all of your MTC buddies, hear some crazy stories, talk about how hard the language is.. etc. 

President Roney spoke to us about how we are capable of performing miracles. All we need to do is prepare and trust in the Lord and miracles will happen. 

So Elder Schneider and I taught a Muslim in his apartment with his friend. As we were teaching we asked if we could start with a prayer and he said no because he would have to wash himself before...anyway. But they said they would pray at the end! As we are teaching another friend came in... and we are talking more about the Book of Mormon and what not and ANOTHER friend comes in. So, Elder Schneider and I are teaching four Muslims and the lesson is going no where. They were super nice but they wanted to Bible bash...Anyway! They brought the Koran out and everything and Elder Schneider touched it without washing his hands which is apparently a big NO NO but they forgave him. They asked if they could pray for us and we said yes! So they all washed themselves and starting praying! It was really interesting but we didnt understand any of it because it was in Arabique. We prayed after them and then traded a Book of Mormon for the Koran! bahaha. A very interesting experience!

I contacted a woman who after finding out I was Mormon blessed me and said she would continue to pray for me. Very kind of her… bahaha

Along the same lines I contacted another woman and told her I was a "missionary for Jesus Christ" she said she wasn't interested and a man passing by yelled back "THEY ARE WORSE THAN THE PLAGUE!" With things like that I just laugh because honestly, they have no idea what we stand for or who we are. 

I trapped a black man in an elevator, with a mattress. We were helping this less active man move and last thing to put in the elevator was this huge mattress. We spent about a good ten minutes forcing it into the elevator. We were so happy to get it in that we didn't realize we had to get it out. haha. Anyway, the mattress is diagonal in the elevator and the black man is in the corner. We spent thirty minutes pulling and pushing as much as we could... to no avail. Luckily some Muslims were nice enough to help us and fifteen minutes later we finally rescued him. While we were pulling I just starting laughing hysterically at how ridicules the whole situation was. I told him that he was in "spirit prison." and the missionaries where here to get him out. 

That is it for this week! For all of you wondering about transfers and such... each transfer is six weeks. So I will be in Lyon for at least another five weeks. Apparently in this mission you don't stay in one place for very long.

Je vous aime et j’espère vous étés bien! 
Avec amour beaucoup,
Elder Johnson 

Some photos of Elder Johnson's "P" Day (prep day).
 Shopping for things you need, site seeing, time out of your suite…etc  

lol…I think between eating pastries and sparkling juice he will continue with his weight gain.  

  In a zoo/park called Tête d'Or which means Head of Gold
Look close at the lion's tail.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

J'ai resté en Lyon!

This is a photo from the Family History Fair from last weeks letter.  
I just found it on the Facebook Lyon page. 

Alrightly! So guess what?! I'm staying in Lyon! Woot woot! I get to stay with my dad! (My trainer)! Honestly, I wanted so badly to stay. I prayed every single day that if I left I could have the heart to accept it. But I don't have to yet! bahaha. 

Our equip is going to be so busy this transfer. We are starting to have a lot of amis--AND I'm starting to understand missionary life! I'm a little sad about the transfer though, as Elder Davis and Soeur Vidal were transfered. But, I guess it is an opportunity to make more friends! 

On Tuesday of last week I finished the Book of Mormon! SPOILER ALERT FOR ALL YOU NON MORMONS. Each time I read it I always hope the Nephites will repent so they don't get destroyed... but alas, the ending of the book never changes. 

At the end of the Book of Mormon I felt impressed to take up Moroni's promise and pray and ask if the Book of Mormon is true or not. I went back to the bedroom and knelt down in prayer. After I finished I opened my eyes and waited a little bit. I didn't really feel anything miraculous. I just felt happy. That was my answer. 

I've made it a goal for this new year to read the entire Livre de Mormon.. which will be difficult because it takes me forever to read in French but I'm going to try! 

In my reading I found something really cool.  In Moroni 8:16 it says: 
"Wo unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent.  Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear."

This scripture has really helped me when it comes to contacting people and being rejected. It is essential for me to continue to develop a "perfect love" for the people of France because when you can love someone more than you fear them, you can do anything. This scripture just REALLY hit me. When love overcomes fear, that is when miracles happen. 

So we contacted this woman two days before Christmas... there was NO ONE else on the rue and she happened to be walking the same direction as us. She is a bit older and she had a ton of bags so we asked if we could help her carry them. She said that she was fine. Anyway! After talking to her about the craziness of the Holidays and such we moved on to the fact that we are missionaries for Jesus Christ. We got her number and gave her our card. She said to contact her after the holidays...

Anyway the holidays passed and we kind of forgot about her but one planning session the name Solange popped into my head. I didn't remember who Solange was but her name was in the phone! We contacted her and she invited us over to teach her. In the lesson she told us about how she had a friend that told her she should talk with us because we could make her happy. On top of that, at the end of the lesson, she told us that she needs to come to church every Sunday and that she would do some type of service for the church to "pay" for our visits. 

The even greater miracle is that we would not have met this woman if we hadn't had appointments fall through/get cancelled. In the moment, I remember feeling so discouraged. At times it is impossible for us to see the eternal purposes of God--especially during times of trial but even though we can't see them, they are still rolling on.

OH! and she brought a friend the to the second rendez-vous who has since become an amie! 
The other miracle of this week was that there were 11 amis at church this week. YES, ELEVEN!!!! Out of the eleven, five happened to be ours.. but whatever ;) We aren't that great. Really, this work is only possible because of the Lord. We are simply the tools the Lord uses to cultivate the hearts of people. Everything else is Him. 

Okay! So I haven't really been doing a good job on keeping you up to date on our amis so I'm going to do better! This week has been SO much better than last week. I think the Lord was giving us a difficult week so we could see the contrast. 

So I've talked a little bit about our amis above but I will do it more in depth down here. 

Our two amis who have a baptismal date for this Saturday aren't quite ready to be baptized, so we are pushing those back until they are more prepared. It is a little disappointing but this is where I should push aside my desires for a baptisms and focus on the needs of the amis. 

At the moment we have about five really reliable amis and about four others that are hard to set up rendez-vous with. 

I talked a little bit about Solange above. She is so golden. When you have an amie tell you that they MUST come to church every sunday, they are pretty darn elect. At our first appointment with her she was amazed we didn't drink tea or coffee. She asked what we could drink and we said we like water or apple juice. The next appointment there were two HUGE glasses of apple juice waiting for us on the coffee table as we came in. Super sweet. She also gave us a ton of cookies. She is easy to love. 

We have another ami named Sylvain, who is doing great. It has been tough because his wife isn't very approving... OR WASN'T! We prayed every single day for her to come into the lessons. Usually she would just stay in the kitchen or something. But we prayed and prayed and prayed. Nothing different. Then, the last lesson we taught with him (the Word of Wisdom) she came in and sat down with us like it was the normal thing to do. She said she thought it was super cool that we took care of our bodies. When we invited them to keep the Word of Wisdom-- they both said yes! Without pause. The spirit was there and it testified to them and the best part is that they listened to it! 

So, actually this week I found an electronic scale that would read in pounds instead of kilos and I weigh 149.8 lbs! So, since the beginning of my mission I have gained about 15 pounds, bahaha. Pretty funny! If I continue at this rate I could be around 300 by the end! ;) I think it is a combination of all the bread, chocolate, eating out of stress, and awesome member meals! 

I found a black woman who didn't want to hear more about Jesus... that was a real eye opener... I didn't know they existed. But apparently they do. In all honesty, I don't think she was black. 

I got SO FRUSTRATED at the beginning of this week. SO frustrated with my French. I was thinking negatively and realized that the only way to get better at French is speaking with people but the crappy part is that I have to speak to people in broken french! I was just fuming at myself for not being more capable when I realized I have only been speaking French for about 2ish months... Oh yeah.. And I met an american on the metro who had been living in Lyon for much longer than me and there French was WAY worse! So it made me feel better. 

But yeah! The French is actually pretty good. I just need to be more patient. 

That's all for now! I love you all! Keep on being awesome!

Avec amour beaucoup,
Elder Johnson

Monday, January 13, 2014


I've been in France for a month! Isn't that incredible? I think so. The MTC felt like it took so long to get out of and now that I am here in France, the time has be flying by. A lot has happened this week!

Elder Schneider and I have had a few miracles this week! This week has been difficult with our amis, so it has been nice to have some miracles :) DISCLAIMER: All y'all you ain't servin' as a missionary might not feel that these things are miracles, but trust me. They are heaven sent when you have been rejected the entire day and you feel like you are about to give up. 

Anyway, our first miracle happened when we were contacting on the way to an appointment. I attempted to contact this woman and she pretty much ran away from me and said no thank you. So I dont think much of it and continue to contact. THEN she comes back and contacts ME. She asks me if we could teach her son english and that she was pretty much free anytime of the week! WOOHOO! I honestly almost squeeled with delight. It is such an easy way to teach the gospel too. You just tell that we are mostly here to teach about Jesus but we can also teach english. After about 45 minutes of english "class", you give a spiritual thought and pray! Super! :) 

The other miracle happened on the tram. We were on our way back from St. Priest and we hadn't had much success. Right before we get off, a man approaches us and asks if we can help him find a church for him to attend. WHAT THE? OF COURSE WE CAN HELP YOU FIND A CHURCH. haha. Honestly, it was such a pick up. 

Oh the joys of going from door to door. Honestly, I would hate it if we didn't get to look forward to seeing what is behind the next door. It is almost like a game. You never know what is going to be on the other side. A catholic priest, a half dressed man, a mean dog... who knows! haha

We were porting and right before we knocked on a door there was a little dog "woof". My companion is deathly afraid of dogs. Like almost a phobia. He asked if it was a dog and I said that it was just someone coughing (knowing it was a dog). He knocked again and the dog goes NUTS. It hits against the door, and barks like crazy. My companion, RUNS FRANTICALLY for the elevator to find that someone has called it downstairs. Looking like a trapped animal he searches for the stairs. Honestly, I have not laughed so hard in my life. He was SO scared. I thought he was joking but apparently not! 

This week we had an activity at the institute and it was amazing. I was in the front of the institute the whole time trying to get people to go inside and have a cookie and learn about their family. We also had cookies outside. You would be surprised at the amount of people who are willing to reject a cookie. I would ask "Do you want to learn about your geneology? No, okay, "Do you want a cookie?" haha. Super funny.

I ended up contacting 107 people that day! The most I have ever contacted. As a whole, we contacted around 2000 people and 70 people went inside and did research! Pretty awesome :)

This week is transfer week. I REALLY hope I stay in Lyon. If not though, thats cool too. But honestly, I love Lyon so much. Fingers crossed. 

Today we went to President Roney's house and had enchilladas! Oh man, I love the Roney family so much. President is probably one of the funniest people I know. Super clever. He thought it was so funny how about 30 percent of the missionaries were hispanic and we happened to be having enchilladas He said something like "You make mexican food and they all start coming out of the woodworks..." hahaha

I went on an exchange this week with Elder Davis, which is funny because he is only on his second transfer. Two bleus tall on their own. Pretty comical. Luckily, his french is SO good. Exchanges are fun because you can learn so much from other missionaries. 

This week has been hard for teaching. We don't know why, but we really didn't have that many lessons at all with our amis. They were all busy or something like that. Sad. 

When an amis doesn't keep a commitment, it breaks your heart. You wait for them outside of the church and they never show up. That is the worst. You know that they know it is important to come but they don't. They have their darn free choice ;) 

But with that said, I feel like I know how Heavenly Father feels when I disobey him. I know it is important to obey him but sometimes don't. Having a better understanding of how it makes him feel has given me a greater desire to obey him. 

With all of those things said, we are going to have baptisms this next transfer. We have two amis that are progressing very rapidly and are being intergrated into the ward nicely. I am SO excited for them. Honestly, the joy you feel when they begin to understand is absolutely beautiful. 

That is it for this week!
Je vous aime! L’Évangile est vrai!  

Avec amour beaucoup,
Elder Johnson

Monday, January 6, 2014


D'accord! Bonjour ma famille et mes amis! 
This week has gone by so fast! Probably the fastest yet! It is pretty crazy how you wake up one day and realize that seven days have gone by! 

Bonne année tout le monde! Really, we didn't really do anything on New Years except go back to the apartment early because there were crazy people everywhere outside. Another equip (companionship of Elders) came over and stayed at our apartment because they didn't have any power in their apartment.  

We went to bed at normal time but I didn't fall asleep until at least 11:30 because of the party downstairs. We could hear all of the music perfectly. Really, we could have had a dance party that is how loud it was. I woke up at 12 to the people screaming the countdown... It was quite the night. 

I fell back asleep only to wake up to Miley Cyrus singing Wrecking Ball... bahaha. I made the incorrect assumption that the party ended at midnight... The next day was a struggle. 

But the New Year is a great time to make goals! Since starting my mission I've made so many goals. Some are tiny but some are much more larger. Goals with the language, with myself personally, with my mission, and goals for after my mission. If you want to accomplish something, written goals are the first step. 

Okay... So I was having a bad day. It had been raining all day, I was tired (because of the music) and two of our rendezvous turned into tombezvous (they fell through) Anyway... We were headed back to our appartment and I was so ready to be in dry clothes and eat some food. 
DISCLAIMER, IF YOU LIKE ACCORDIANS STOP READING NOW. So as I close my eyes to just relax this accordian starts blaring right next to my ear. Honestly, I wanted to take this mans accordian and throw it into the path of the metro. Luckily we change metro lines and leave the man.
AS THE DOORS OF THE METRO ARE CLOSING he jumps through and starts playing his accordian again. AND he starts yelling this Romanian song to accompany his evil instrument. 
I was beginning to actually hate this man when I started to look around at the people on the metro. And honestly it seemed like everyone was enjoying it but me. Normally on the metro everyone looks like they are about to kill themselves... But people were acually smiling! 

Despite my hate for the accordian and Romanian music, I was grateful that he could put a smile on a few people's faces. This experience, as painful as it was, reminded me to not let myself get grumpy. haha

He has changed in some ways but he is still Cameron. lol

This week the Lyon Zone had a competition! It was called Kings of Lyon. Basically, key indicators had points attached to them. and whoever had the most at the end of the day would be crowned "Kings of LYON"! There were also Waldo's you had to find contacting: A rugby player, An asian girl with a Hello Kitty, and A Mexican with a Mustache. At one point I contacted these asians girls like this "Do you know Jesus Chirst?" No? Okay... Do you know Hello Kitty? bahaha. It was pretty funny. 

The day was an absolute blast. We contacted so many people and taught quite a few lessons. Oh! There were also words that if you had used all of them in contacts by the end of the day that your points would be doubled. The words were: Nelson Mandela, Elder Gruber (assistant), Fox, Monkey, Cheese Burger, Me gusta, Stapler, Head band, dougnuts. and paper airplane. 

It made for some funny contacts. Surprisingly, people were more open to you when you used weird words and made a joke out of it. 

Anyway! Guess who won the kings of Lyon? ELDER JOHNSON AND ELDER SCHNEIDER :)
haha. We pretty much steamrolled all of the other equips.. We are supposed to get a prize but Im not entirely sure if there is actually a prize. 

So! All of our amis are doing well! Two of them have a baptismal date for the 25th of January!
One of them is progressing very quickly. He is really putting the dots together by himself. Through this ami in particular I've realized how the meek are going to inherit the earth like the scriptures say. This ami is not very well educated and he reads really slowly.. but he said he LOVED how simple the Livre de Mormon is. 

The meek are going to inherit the earth because they are humble enough to accept the gospel. Through his little blurp about the simplictiy of the Book of Mormon I had a total "AH HA!" moment. It was pretty cool. 

It amazes me how willing people are to change their lives. The gospel of Jesus Christ so powerful. Once people feel the Holy Ghost and remember how it made them feel, they do everything they can to please Heavenly Father... so that they can continue to have spiritual experiences. 

The Apartment 

So... I have gained 2.5 kilos.. Just to let you know. The holidays have caught up with me. hahah

I swear I bring the inappropriate-ness out of old women... We were serving this Seour who can't come to church because she isn't mobil enough. When we were done she invited us to come over for dinner so she could see my beau visage .. bahaha. "HANDSOME FACE"

I'm almost done with the Book of Mormon since starting it in the MTC! I'm in chapter 21 of 3 Nephi! It's like one of the best parts. 

Anyway! That's it for this week! I love you all! I appreciate your love and support! 

Avec amour beaucoup.
Elder Johnson